5 Stocks Dragging The Basic Materials Sector Downward

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model

All three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 79 points (0.5%) at 15,467 as of Wednesday, May 22, 2013, 12:50 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,746 issues advancing vs. 1,183 declining with 133 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.6% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.5%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan ( POT), down 1.00, PetroChina ( PTR), down 1.14, Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR.A), down 1.16, EOG Resources ( EOG), down 0.60 and Monsanto Company ( MON), down 0.59. Top gainers within the sector include Kinross Gold Corporation ( KGC), up 7.1%, Pioneer Natural Resources Company ( PXD), up 4.8%, Chesapeake Energy ( CHK), up 2.7%, Ecopetrol S.A ( EC), up 2.0% and Energy Transfer Equity ( ETE), up 1.5%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 5 stocks pushing the sector lower today:

5. Imperial Oil ( IMO) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector lower today. As of noon trading, Imperial Oil is down $0.24 (-0.6%) to $39.50 on light volume Thus far, 89,142 shares of Imperial Oil exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 290,000 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $39.33-$40.21 after having opened the day at $39.69 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $39.74.

Imperial Oil Limited engages in the exploration, production, and sale of crude oil and natural gas in Canada. The company operates through three segments: Upstream, Downstream, and Chemical. Imperial Oil has a market cap of $33.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 8.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Imperial Oil as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, weak operating cash flow and poor profit margins. Get the full Imperial Oil Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, Nucor ( NUE) is down $0.96 (-2.0%) to $46.14 on average volume Thus far, 1.5 million shares of Nucor exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $46.11-$47.40 after having opened the day at $47.20 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $47.10.

Nucor Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and sale of steel and steel products in North America and internationally. It operates through three segments: Steel Mills, Steel Products, and Raw Materials. Nucor has a market cap of $14.7 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 33.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 9.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Nucor as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full Nucor Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, Suncor Energy ( SU) is down $0.17 (-0.5%) to $31.80 on average volume Thus far, 3.3 million shares of Suncor Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $31.50-$32.34 after having opened the day at $31.73 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $31.97.

Suncor Energy Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as an integrated energy company. Suncor Energy has a market cap of $48.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 3.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Suncor Energy as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and reasonable valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity. Get the full Suncor Energy Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS.A) is down $0.31 (-0.5%) to $68.07 on average volume Thus far, 1.8 million shares of Royal Dutch Shell exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $67.87-$68.67 after having opened the day at $68.28 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $68.38.

Royal Dutch Shell plc operates as an independent oil and gas company worldwide. The company explores for and extracts crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids. Royal Dutch Shell has a market cap of $216.7 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 0.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Royal Dutch Shell as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share. Get the full Royal Dutch Shell Ratings Report now.

Exclusive Offer: Jim Cramer's 'go-to' small/mid-cap guru Bryan Ashenberg only buys stocks he thinks could return 50-100%. See his top picks for 14-days FREE.

1. As of noon trading, Marathon Petroleum ( MPC) is down $0.80 (-1.0%) to $82.08 on average volume Thus far, 1.5 million shares of Marathon Petroleum exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $81.45-$83.96 after having opened the day at $82.88 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $82.88.

Marathon Petroleum Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in refining, transporting, and marketing petroleum products primarily in the United States. It operates through Refining & Marketing, Speedway, and Pipeline Transportation segments. Marathon Petroleum has a market cap of $27.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 31.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Marathon Petroleum as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's profit margins have been poor overall. Get the full Marathon Petroleum Ratings Report now.

Exclusive Offer: Jim Cramer's 'go-to' small/mid-cap guru Bryan Ashenberg only buys stocks he thinks could return 50-100%. See his top picks for 14-days FREE.

If you are interested in one of these 5 stocks, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the basic materials sector could consider Materials Select Sector SPDR ( XLB) while those bearish on the basic materials sector could consider ProShares Short Basic Materials Fd ( SBM).

A reminder about TheStreet Ratings group: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

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